Both the White House and some Members of Congress have recently proposed mechanisms to withdraw some--or even all--United States support to the United Nations. Whether this comes in the form of an Executive Order or a legislative proposal, WaterAid is seriously concerned about these initiatives.

Why? Because if the US government follows through on these drastic measures to weaken the UN system, lives will be lost, US national security will be threatened, and our collective ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will be compromised before we’ve even really begun. The consequences of the US cutting voluntary contributions to UN agencies by 40% stands to be a matter of life and death for millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world, particularly women and children.

Regardless of any need for reform, the UN is a critical partner to WaterAid and to the US government in achieving our commitments to end extreme poverty, improve global health, address climate change, and respond to humanitarian crises and natural disasters. UNICEF alone provided safe water to nearly 40 million people and sanitation to nearly 20 million people in 2015. Some have argued that the US should withdraw from the United Nations entirely if certain conditions are not met.

WaterAid does not take an explicit position on many of those conditions. We do, however, stand strongly in favor of multilateral diplomacy and cooperation, including the rights of sovereign nations to disagree with us, and will oppose efforts to weaken US participation in the UN, or to weaken UN programs and agencies themselves.

To read more about our stance on the support of the UN and more, take a look at our blog post, explaining our approach and why we work to provide water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere.

Read the final letters, signed by over 100 organizations including WaterAid, calling for continued engagement with the United Nations.

To the Senate

To the State Subcommittee (Foreign Operations)